At Microsoft Tech Ed 2010 in New Orleans, editors from SharePointPro Connections magazine along with colleagues from DevProConnections, Windows IT Pro, and SQL Server Magazine gave Best of TechEd awards to vendors who offer innovative products and services. The Best of TechEd awards are given annually by a judging panel of editors from the Penton magazines that provide content for developers and IT pros in the Microsoft ecosystem. In a rigorous process, the vendors submit their new and improved products from the past year in a number of categories. Then the editors narrow the choices to three finalists. At TechEd the editors interview the finalists in each category and make a final determination based on strategic importance to the market, competitive advantage, and value to customers.
Best Microsoft Product
This year’s Best of TechEd award for a Microsoft product went to Visual Studio 2010. The judges said, “Visual Studio 2010 is the Microsoft product of the year because this release of Visual Studio raises the standard for development tools. Visual Studio 2010 provides new native Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) support, as well as support for multiple monitors, a new historical debugging capability, and significantly enhanced SharePoint development and deployment capabilities.”
Breakthrough Product Award
The winner in the breakthrough product category is Citrix XenDesktop 4. “Although virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) isn’t even mainstream yet, Citrix is already working to expand what the phrase ‘virtual desktop’ means. This product wins as breakthrough product because Citrix is providing easy and powerful virtual desktops, and there’s a good chance that will be the future of IT.”
AvePoint—DocAve Software Platform 5.5
Component One—ComponentOne Studio for SharePoint 2010 version 2
Quest Software—Quest Site Administrator for SharePoint 4.0
There were three very strong finalists contending for the SharePoint Best of TechEd Award this year. AvePoint’s DocAve Software Platform 5.5 is an integrated suite of products for backend SharePoint management administration tasks, including centralized administration of different SharePoint versions; all management can be done from a single interface. The product is for companies who use SharePoint as an enterprise software platform and business-critical application.
ComponentOne Studio for SharePoint 2010 includes three Web Parts: the Data Grid, the Chart, and the Maps. These give the end user a quick way to create data portals and line-of-business applications for their SharePoint pages. SharePoint doesn’t offer out of the box Charts or Maps. Instead of developers or administrators building these themselves, Studio for SP does that for them with Web Parts built using the Silverlight framework, so there’s better performance and a great presentation.
SharePoint Winner: Quest Site Administrator for SharePoint 4.0
In the explosive SharePoint market, Quest Site Administrator for SharePoint 4.0 is the winner. It provides administrators (and “accidental” SharePoint admins) a comprehensive means to take control of their burgeoning SharePoint environments. This product offers tools that provide centralized administration, discovery, site and content browsing, data collection and reporting, global policy and permissions management, and audit data collection and reporting.
An annual favorite is the Attendees’ Pick award. Conference attendees get to cast their votes for the product of their choice. This year the Tech Ed attendees chose VMware VSphere 4. The TechEd judges observed that “VMware’s support for private and public clouds, added to its well-respected features, has assured the company a continuing place in many environments. This product won because it’s a mature, stable, well-known technology that’s in use in a large percentage of IT shops.”
More Awards Coverage
Awards were given for IT Pro products as well as developer products. The full list of categories includes backup and recovery, business intelligence, database administration, developer tools, hardware and storage, messaging, networking, security, SharePoint, software components and middleware, systems management and operations, and virtualization. Plus the award for a Microsoft product and a breakthrough product. For a write-up of all the awards, plus some fun pictures from the awards ceremony at the Hard Rock Café, see “Congratulations to the Winners of the Best of Tech Ed 2010 Awards.”